Friday, November 3, 2017

The Hiding Place

I finally read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  I had watched a portion of the movie when I was middle school age, and knew some of the story.  It is about time I read the book, and wondered why I had not before.  For those not familiar with the book, Corrie was a young woman living in Holland when the Nazis took over the country.  It tells about the courage it took for her and her family to help the Jews, despite the danger it placed them in.  Although the story tells about the atrocities of the Nazis, it is also a story of love, hope and forgiveness.  If you haven't read this book yet, add it to your reading list. 
note: I would not recommend this book to those under 14 due to descriptions of concentration camps

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Explorers of the Wild

Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson is a picture book I found when looking for books about exploring.  It is a perfect book for children who love the outdoors.  The story begins by showing the things a boy and a bear do separately while exploring.  Then they encounter one another.  Naturally, both bear and boy are afraid at first, but then they choose to be explorers together.  This is a good book for preschoolers through second grade as a read aloud.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

John Deere, That's Who!

John Deere, That's Who! by Tracy Nelson Mauer and illustrated by Tim Zeltner is a title my sister suggested to me this summer.  It is a picture book biography of John Deere, a  name every farmer's daughter knows.  This brief story is like most other biographies, telling of the challenges and successes of a person.  Though most people would recognize the name John Deere, this book shed light on what John Deere really made-plows and other horse drawn implements.  It is a good book to share with children about U.S. history, biographies, or persistence.  I plan to keep this one checked out until my dad gets a chance to read it. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rainbow Weaver

Rainbow Weaver /Tejedora del Arcoiris by Linda Elovitz Marshall and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri is a book anyone who is interested in Guatemala should read.  Ixchel is a Mayan girl who would like to weave colorful cloth to sell like her mother does.  Her family does not have extra thread for weaving, so Ixchel cannot help or make her own things to sell.  She looks for something she could use for her weaving.  After trying several things, she stumbles across the idea of taking the colored plastic bags which are lying around everywhere and using them.  The story highlights the ingenuity and resilience of the Mayan people.  Some of the small details in the story reminded me of little bits of the Guatemalan culture and the reality of the poverty there.  If you are looking for stories to help children understand more of the world beyond our country, add this bilingual book to your list.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Antsy Ansel

Antsy Ansel by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and illustrated by Christy Hale is a picture book biography worth picking up at the library and sharing with your children or students.  Ansel Adams' life is told from when he was very young until his life as a professional and well-known photographer.  It is not extremely detailed, but the story does explain his love of nature from a young age and the environment his family provided to nurture his love of nature, learning, and photography.  Although this is a picture book, anyone who enjoys the work of Ansel Adams would enjoy this brief biography. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees written by Mary Beth Leatherdale and illustrated by Eleanor Shakespeare is a book recommended for anyone between the ages of 10 and 100.
Leatherdale crafts a narrative about the lives of five different refugee youth from the last century.  Featured in the book are Ruth from Germany, Phu from Vietnam, Jose from Cuba, Najeeba from Afghanistan, and Mohamed from the Ivory Coast. There is plenty of background information regarding each refugee's situation.  Despite each refugee being from a different cultural background, there are many similarities in their stories.  Leatherdale begins the book with Ruth leaving Nazi Germany because she is Jewish.  Starting that way makes the story stronger, as it is a sad, but very well known wrong in world history.  It continues on to more current stories, which makes me realize that such tragedy still happens in our world. 
With the refugee crisis a current political issue, this book should be required reading in any social studies class.  Anyone who knows a refugee would find this worth reading as well.